Guy Kirkwood is the Chief Evangelist for UiPath, the fastest growing software enterprise firm of all time. Already the largest providers of robotics worldwide, UiPath are on a mission to champion automation in every industry and already have a significant presence in every continent. Boss to Boss spoke to Guy to establish how the perception of robotic process automation (RPA) and artificial intelligence (AI) is changing worldwide, why every firm should consider it and how the legal market is already being disrupted by this radical technology.
Is it only large law firms that can utilise robotic process automation? As Guy explains, larger organisations tend to be conservative. As a result, the smaller organisations tend to lead with innovative methods, as they are more agile.
Finance tends to be the first area where robotic process automation (RPA) is deployed because the processes are well-defined and clear. These processes have been built up over the last twenty to thirty years and are bolstered by techniques like Lean Six Sigma. It’s easy to manage this and most organisations use Excel, so facilitating automation is much easier.
Guy notes that the geographical uptake of RPA varies because countries worldwide operate in different ways. For instance, burning platform activities in Japan often deploy automation, as the amount of work has become excessive levels. As a result, they need to automate and companies like UiPath are necessary help facilitate this movement.
Guy confidently predicts the next five to ten years, every industry across the world will encounter the problem of increasing workloads. Due to this, RPA is the only way to maximise efficiencies, and improve employee lives. It’s also the best way.
The Legal Market has been disrupted due to regulation changes. With lawyers becoming more accountable, requirements are needed to comply with issues like GDPR. Guy describes how law firms are inherently conservative and that as a result, partners still need to convince their colleagues about robotic process automation (RPA).
Due to this, he expects to see an increased number of mergers and acquisitions between law firms and other companies, leading to a great number of systems and operations which need to collaborate together. RPA can help resolve this issue.
In the future, Guy expects to see law firms differentiate and change direction, towards business services and consulting.
‘Don’t worry’ is Guy’s immediate response. He notes that organisations that go into robotic process automation for the wrong reasons – job cuts and cost reductions. Instead, they find the value of their people is much higher, once RPA has been deployed. His analogy: “just because someone is doing a monkey’s job, doesn’t mean that they are a monkey.”
Automation leads to increased happiness for workers, as they are freed from mundane work. The world has changed, from cloud-first to automation-first and this should be welcomed as it helps people achieve more on a day-to-day basis.
What is the future for robotic process automation and artificial intelligence? It’s a good question, according to Guy. Robotics started as process-driven, task-oriented technology, but has evolved to build in skills that are more “intelligent”.
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